out of the dark into the light

anonymous asked:

45+34 Hanella <3

45. “We are leaving. Now.”
34.“Blood. Blood everywhere.”

Danger, her gut told her.  There is danger ahead.

Stella tightened her grip on her Glock.  The tunnel ahead of her was narrow and dark and she didn’t have a flashlight.  She could just make out a speck of light at the other end, but it was so far away.  She didn’t know they if they would make it.  She turned to Hank, where he waited beside her.  

“Up to you, Sherlock,” he said, smiling down at her.

“It’s dark,” she answered.

“Really?  I can see fine.”

“I can’t.”

“Follow me, then.”  He walked away from her into the tunnel and then turned to beckon her.

“We are leaving,” she called after him.  “Now.”

He moved backwards into the darkness.  “Is that what you want?” he asked, just before he disappeared.

“Hank!”  Her voice echoed off the walls of the tunnel, but otherwise it was silent.

There is danger ahead.

Stella trained her weapon at the darkness and crept forward.  There was a noise and she startled, discharging her gun three times in quick succession.  It sparked in her hand she stood stock still, listening.  A gurgle and a wet cough broke the silence.

“Stella…”  Hank’s voice, distant, in pain, calling her name.


She ran towards the speck of light and then dropped to her knees when she saw him, lying prone in the dirt.  Blood.  Blood everywhere.  Oozing from the three holes in his chest.  Pooling around his shoulders.  Seeping from the corner of his mouth.

“Stella,” he whispered and coughed, splattering blood onto his chin.

“Don’t talk,” she said.  “Stay still.”

“It hurts.”

“I know.  I know and I’m sorry.”

“Not your fault, Sherlock.  You did warn me.”

“I was wrong, Hank.  I was wrong.”

“It’s too late.”


Stella woke with a jerk of her shoulders and a shiver.  Her eyes took a few moments to focus and adjust to the green glow of her alarm clock.  3:21 a.m.  She brought her arm out from the covers and opened the drawer to the nightstand, patting her hand around inside to find her journal.  Once she had it in her hand, she paused, ultimately leaving it in the drawer.

Quietly, Stella turned over in bed and faced Hank.  He was sprawled on his stomach, head turned away from her.  His shoulder glowed with a sliver of moonlight.  She could see the rise and fall of his back as he breathed, but she needed to feel it for herself.  She sat up and pulled his t-shirt over her head.  She’d started the bad habit of pilfering them from him before going to bed and she couldn’t stop.

Bare-chested, Stella straddled Hank’s hips and then lay herself down on his back.  His skin was warm and soft, but it was always warm and soft.  She slid her hands over his arms, framing them with her own; the left bent up by his head and the right outstretched and under a pillow.  Her body rose with his as he breathed deeply and then grunted.

Hank shifted and stretched under her and then he turned his head.  She brushed his cheek with hers and bent her head to press her mouth into the curve between his shoulder and neck.  Her top teeth sank softly into his flesh and her tongue swept across to taste his skin.  His warmth took the chill of her dream out of her body.

“Did you wake up in the middle of the night feeling amorous?” he asked, his voice more of a grunting slur.

“No.  I just needed to feel you.”

Under the pillow, Hank slid his thumb out from under hers and caressed the side of her finger lightly.  “Everything alright?” he asked.


“You gonna stay up there all night?”

“I might.”

“You sure you’re okay?”

“I am.”

The End

calfreezy imagine: lovebite (SMUT)

REQUESTED:  ‘Can you write me a Cal imagine? (Freezy) where you have sex with Cal and he gives you a lovebite? And the boys notices and finds out you’re together?’

It had been a couple of hours since we had got back from the club. The flat was dark, London’s night lights shining in through the balcony, and I made it to be at least four in the morning. Everybody else was asleep.

The only reason I was here in the Halo Tower was because I had been too drunk to get home safely, but now I was beginning to sober. That was a common theme throughout my night outs; I was always the drunkest, but it didn’t last as long, and as soon as it hit bedtime I was usually over it. On this occasion I was still tipsy but it was manageable. I could make decisions for myself.

There was one particular decision I wanted to make in this moment, and that, required Mr Calfreezy himself. I wanted him. I didn’t know if it was the alcohol, or the way he looked in a button up, but I wanted him.

In a move most probably made by the alcohol in my veins I made my way to his bedroom, knocking my small fist on his door. To my surprise I was greeted with a ‘come in’.

“Cal? Are you awake?”

In the dark settings I could still make out his features. I noticed him sitting up against the headboard of his king size bed. 

“Yeah, are you alright?”

His voice was only slightly slurred, a significant difference from what it sounded like earlier on tonight. I edged closer towards his bed. My hand lingered on his wall.

“Yeah,” I answered. “Can I turn the light on?”

“Sure,” he responded and I turned the switch. The light unveiled Cal, sitting up under his duvet, shirtless but his lower body hidden. The air was sucked out of my chest. His stomach was toned, abs forming. Wow. 

He moved over in his bed, patting the empty space beside him and pulling back his duvet. I sat down gingerly.

“What’s going on?”

“I can’t sleep. I’m not drunk anymore.”

“Yes you are,” he smirked, laughing slightly. “You just can’t tell. But I agree, you’re not as bad as you were earlier.”

I pouted. “Don’t laugh at me.”

“Hey, I’m sorry,” his cold hand touched my shoulder, leaving goosebumps on my arm. “I’m not laughing at you.”

“You better not be.”

I watched as his eyes widened, before narrowing. “Or what?” He asked, his voice laced with curiosity. Fuck it.

“Or this.”

I almost lunged forward, grabbing Cal’s face and pressing my lips eagerly onto his. Seemingly shocked, but in no way arguing he reciprocated the action, placing both hands on my hips underneath the tshirt dress I was wearing as a night gown. I climbed on top of him. As I straddled him I groaned; both the feeling of his hands tracing over the lace of my underwear and the thin material of his boxers separating our areas, I did not know which feeling was more intense. The noise radiating from my throat into his caused him to groan too, a sound that made my skin heat. I began grinding against him.

The contact of our mouths was broken momentarily as Cal ripped the tshirt dress off of me. He tossed it to the floor, flipping me to be underneath him now. Another moan left my mouth as he moved his lips to my neck. He sucked the skin, grazing it with his teeth in several areas, and I wrapped my arms around the bare skin of his back letting my nails sink in.

“Are you on the pill?” He asked, and I nodded. He then began to kiss down my body, sucking on the skin from my collarbones right down to my cleavage, as his hand made it’s way to my pants. I squirmed at the way the material rubbed against me.

“Don’t tease,” I groaned. Cal silently obliged, dragging the lace down past my leg and eventually tossing them to the floor. As his fingers moved inside me I struggled to catch my breath.

Fed up of the foreplay, I pulled at his boxers, the white Calvin Klein material becoming see through as it stretched over his erection. Freezy quickly disposed of them and in no time placed himself inside of me.

Our moans filled the air. The windows seemed to steam up outside of the slowly coming sunset, and it wasn’t long at all before we both reached our climax, and Cal gave way on top of me. I rolled over, making space for him to lie behind me and in no time, we were both asleep.


It was the glisten of sunlight peaking through the windows that woke me originally, although the artificial light coming from the ceiling did not help the case. I squinted as I tried to figure out my surroundings. The small, homely room was not familiar, and was definitely not where I’d ended up last night…

And then I remembered. I rolled over apprehensively; but there was no one there. It was an empty space of creased bedsheets. The manly scent of aftershave overwhelmed me as I stood, searching for my clothes on the floor. God did I hope everyone else was still awake, I thought as I picked up last nights dress and panties and put them back on - gross. 

As I made my way out of the room, I heard voices from the living room.

“Y/n, is that you?”

Fuck. Lux and Harry were here. They knew I had stayed last night, but would Cal have told them about last night? How would he act around me?

I walked in shame to the living room, feeling incredibly hungover and messy as I was confronted by the three boys sitting on the sofa.

“Hi,” I murmured, brushing my hair behind my ear.

“Alright Y/n? How you feeling?”

They acted seemingly normal. I took Harry’s question to be a reference to my drunken state last night, and I felt reassured. I took a seat on the chair closest to the TV.

“I’m fine, how are you?”

“I’m fin- Jesus fucking Christ Y/n!”

Harry’s eyes widened as he looked up at me. I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion as Freezy mouthed me a quick ‘sorry’, his eyes lit up in humour. 

“Who the fuck gave you those?”

“Gave me what?”

“The fucking marks all over your neck and chest! Did you get attacked by leeches in the night?” Lux exclaimed, assumedly having noticed too now. I felt my face heat as I realised what was hiding behind the rips in my shirt, and the uncovered skin of my neck. Shit.

The lovebites.

“Did you get those at the club? I don’t remember you having them when we brought you home.” Harry and Lux came closer. They both examined my neck, piecing together a puzzle between them as to how the hickeys got there.

“Um,” I squeaked, covering my neck with my hand. I avoided Freezy’s eye as he remained on the sofa, a smirk masked behind his hand. 

“Well come on, who was it?” Harry persisted. Lux stepped back suddenly, giving me a look.

“Hang on a fucking second,” Lux interjected as his eyes moved to Freezy. “Young Callum…you’re being very quiet, you know.”

“Am I?” He asked, faking oblivion and I cringed. Yep, he’s figured it out.

“Yes, you are. Why is it you weren’t surprised to see the hickeys, Cal?”

“Well I-” 

“You didn’t get up to see them either,” Lux interrupted again, acting as a detective almost. I somehow wished the ground would swallow me whole. Fucking curse drunk Y/n and her poor decision making. “Could it be you’ve…seen them before?”

Cal looked sheepish, and so did I, I imagined. Harry’s jaw dropped as him and Lux looked at eachother.

“You two fucked!” He exclaimed. I covered my face, only to have my arms pulled away by Lux.

“No no, no hiding now Y/n, did you or did you not fuck Freezy last night?”

“Callum fuck off!” I yelled as I continued to hide my face. Both him and Harry exploded into childish laughter.

“Oh my God, Freezy you dirty dog.” Harry laughed, and Freezy stood up. He walked over to me and grabbed me.

“Fuck off you two, it’s not that deep why you being deep about it?” His tone was slightly annoyed however his face was covered with a sheepish smile as he pulled me on top of him, taking my space on the chair. I hid my blushed face in his chest.

“Oh sorry we’ll just let you have part two shall we?” Lux laughed as him and Harry continued to take the piss. I sensed Freezy hold up a middle finger from behind my back.

“Nah but on a real, on a real, what does this mean for you two? One night stand or more?”

Cal placed a hand on my back.

“We’ll see. Now fuck off you cunts.”

Love and Space (Lovin’ Space)

Alec closes the door and turns to face the empty loft. It’s dark, all of the lights out, and from where he’s standing, he can make out the silhouette of the couch, of the lamp on the end table, the bookshelves against the wall. Even in the dark it looks well-organized and comfortable, with fluffy armchairs and stacks of books and a sense of eclectivity, a grandfather clock against one wall and a glass coffee table in front of it. It all seems so incredibly Magnus, everything about it, and yet it seems so familiar, like he’s been here a hundred times before. Because he has, or nearly as many, and he feels more comfortable here than he ever has anywhere else. He will say though that the appeal has always been Magnus himself. There is nothing in the world like coming here after a long day, tired and sore, and seeing Magnus on the sofa, reading a book in a language he doesn’t even recognize, or Magnus walking over to greet him with a kiss, or Magnus pushing him up against the wall the moment he closes the door. They’re all wonderful options, really, and it’s what Alec spends his days looking forward to, what he’s been waiting for all day, and he’s so tired. It was training in the morning, and then there was a sudden attack up in northern Manhattan, and then he was on patrol, and then he filled out paperwork until his eyes stung, and he’s been thinking about Magnus all day, and he just wants to curl up with him in bed and drift off to sleep.

But Magnus isn’t in the loft, isn’t in the living room, at least, and it’s perfectly silent. It’s early for him to be asleep, and Alec knows he didn’t have anything scheduled tonight, and he didn’t call or text to say that that had changed. So Alec figures he’s home, and he takes off his boots and coat and leaves them by the door. He walks a little farther into the loft, past the orange armchair that popped up last week, and the rug feels soft and warm under his bare feet. He’s about to turn and go down the hall, thinking maybe Magnus is in his office, when he catches something out of the corner of his eye. Out on the balcony, behind the closed glass doors, there’s a dark shape outlined against the light of the city.

Magnus is standing off to one side, invisible to where Alec was standing before, leaning against the rail, back to the loft. He’s very still, and he looks very pensive, like he might not want to be disturbed. But Alec thinks he should at least say hello, and then he’ll leave if Magnus wants him to. He’d understand.

So he pads across the carpet, narrowly dodging the corner of the low glass coffee table, and pulls open the balcony door. Magnus doesn’t turn around, and Alec shuts the door as quietly as he can.

“Hey, Magnus.”

The city is bright, the light of a thousand stars caught and shining up at them, twinkling and dancing through the dark. Together, they shine like a meteor, hot and flashing and full of reckless life, blacking out the sky. And still the moon hangs above them, eerily white and incandescent, absolute and so small in comparison, but it’s there, and it’s bright, and it’s the only thing in the inky sky.

The light creates sharp lines around Magnus, and Alec can see the tips of his hair spiked up and the outline of his upper body, but everything else is black.

Alec steps forward, walks across the balcony to stand next to Magnus against the railing, his eyes adjusting to the darkness, and Magnus turns toward him with a small, tired smile.

“Hello, Alec.” His voice is low and quiet and soft, his eyes gentle and dark.

It’s terribly sad to see someone you’ve always known as big and bright and confident be reduced to fit within the parameters of the human being. It’s tragic, really, and there is nothing more in the world Alec wants than to right this, than to give everything back to Magnus that the world has taken from him. And this is where he starts.

“Are you okay?”

Magnus smiles a little wider, though it looks pained, and he turns his body to face Alec, taking the last few steps that separate them, throwing his arms around Alec’s neck.

“I missed you.”

Alec winds his arms around Magnus and holds him against his chest, hands curled into the fabric of his shirt, and he nestles his head against Magnus’ shoulder, breathing him in. Magnus melts into him like it’s a great weight from his shoulders to feel Alec’s breath against his skin, to feel him breathe in and out, to press his hands against Alec’s back and to stand there, in the busy, bright night, breathing in the open air, holding Alec to him and feeling Alec’s heartbeat against his chest.

Against his ear, Alec whispers, “I missed you, too,” and he has. He’s missed Magnus all day, from the moment Magnus left for his first meeting, and he’s been thinking about this, about what it’s like to feel Magnus’s breath against his cheek and his heartbeat against his chest. But it’s not the same, it’s nothing in comparison to actually being here, to holding Magnus in his arms, and feeling the warmth of Magnus’ skin.

Together, they make a one very small black dot on the dark balcony of a dark loft in New York, the city bright and loud and unaware of their existence, indifferent. It goes on shining, twinkling, and they don’t take any notice. They just cling to each other a little bit tighter, eyes closed, reveling in the feeling of being this close, in the feeling of having this, of having this beautiful, wonderful thing to come home to every night.

And then Magnus pulls back just enough to rest his forehead against Alec’s, and he’s still smiling so brightly with that profound sadness that makes him looks unbearably tired.


Magnus doesn’t say anything for a moment, and then he whispers, voice soft and reverent, “I love you, Alec.”

“I love you, too.”

Magnus closes his eyes, forehead against Alec’s, breathing him in, soaking in the feeling of being this close, of standing on the balcony over a city that outshines the stars. Alec runs his hand over Magnus’ back and watches the light catch on Magnus’s cheek, fold into the little dips beneath his eyes and sparkle in the glitter on his eyelids. He’s beautiful, like some kind of god, and he opens his eyes and looks at Alec like he’s the only thing worth looking at, but he doesn’t say anything. He just stands there, looking at Alec like that, and Alec looks back at him with the same wide-eyed wonder and adoration, and he doesn’t push, he just stands there and waits for Magnus to tell him everything he needs to say.

RFA + V & Saeran - Soulmate AU

This is kinda random, but I thought why not. 

P.s No one asked for this Lololol 

 So basically, AU stands for ‘Alternate Universe’, and for this each character gets a different soulmate au. Aka how they meet their soulmate or how they would find them. 

 707/Luciel/Saeyoung Choi 

Soulmate AU: world becomes brighter when meeting soulmate. 

  •  Everything was always dull to this hacker(same everyone in the RFA)
  • his mother never found her soulmate, so why would he find his??
  • Never thought he’d find his soulmate because of his job 
  • not even Vanderwood had one 
  • Seven craved for someone to literally light up his world 
  • it wasn’t that dark, but then again, that’s all he knew 
  • Maybe it was a family curse (Seven ur like the second youngest in the group shush) 
  • Decided to go stock up on some PhD Pepper one Midnight so he could finish his assignment 
  • Was walking out of store with like two cases of PhD pepper in his hands when someone crashed into him
  •  I mean literally crashed
  •  this person was running at full speed towards the entrance and crashed into this tomato boy 
  • “Oh my gosh I’m so sorr-”
  •  They didn’t even get to finish their sentence before a flash of light encased both of their visions 
  • When they could see again, they were both shocked
  • Seven marvels at how light the world suddenly became
  •  Then it dawns on him, 
  • “Oh my god!”
  •  He completely forgets about his precious soda and hugs the person tightly
  • “My soulmate!”
  • was the happiest boyo in the world at the moment 
  • workers overhearing this and clapped
  •  They exchanged numbers and Seven did a full search on the poor person once he got home
  •  was already and love
  •  spammed the chatroom with heart emojis lmao

 (The rest of the RFA is below)

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Hotel California

#Jess turns 40
#Jess 300 Celebration
“Hotel California”
This is for @wi-deangirl77 challenge. I’m so sorry it’s late. My song was Hotel California. I just finished this so any errors are on me.
Characters: Sam, Reader, Gabriel, and Dean
Summary: Gabriel traps Sam in the Hotel California hoping Sam can save you from the hotel’s clutches.

Word Count: 2009. Song is in italics. Tags below cut.

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night

    Sam was driving down the dark desert highway after finishing up at the library. Dean was waiting for him back at the motel so they could figure out what they were hunting. People were disappearing at this place called the Hotel California and were never heard from again. Dean was ready to charge in with guns blazing, but Sam was more hesitant. It sounded a lot like the Mystery Spot he had been trapped in with Gabriel and Sam wasn’t sure if he could watch Dean die a thousand more times. Sam suddenly became aware that he wasn’t alone in the Impala.

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slytherinmayadere  asked:

[zubatsometimes] I dearly love how you do your shading!! Could I maybe ask you to draw a Zubat, or explain how you do your lovely shading work~?

ahh, thank u so much!! ;v;

1. lineart! i use paint tool sai, and i line with the brush tool. 

these are my settings! i usually don’t line in black, usually a dark shade though. i also put my layer to multiply!

2. i fill in the colors! i use the bucket tool using the selection source, although i fill in gaps with my brush tool!

3. i use a dark color to shade! i usually make it out of the lines and delete the excess later.

4. i switch the layer to multiply!

5. i turn down the opacity. in this case it’s down to 53%!

6. i use the water tool to blend!

7. i use the water tool again and turn my layer to luminosity! i usually do soft lighting with the color its based on (Eg. purple for purple, blue for blue)

and thats it! i hope this helped!

So, planning for irbb has been a ride and a half, something that’s been documented almost from day 1 on a trusty little notebook that’s seen it’s fair share of plot changes and setting switches and so, so much poetry.

Here’s a few of those poems from the little brown book.

A moon-minded girl–
defined only
by the fleeting silhouette of the
hem of her lacy dress
when she leaves at the first ghostlight
of the paper skies of dawn
(and into thin air)

I’d loved you the way
Winter loves Spring
and Summer loves the rain–
(in liminal spaces)
(in liminal places)

To be in steller motion–
caught in your inertia like an
out of place comet.
Striking through your skies every
missing yesteryear–
You, asleep.
Moonskinned, you–

Did you know, mora pia
negative spaces linger
in more than just dark
and less than just light?

There’s poetry in this world,
where people can’t just kiss
(The lack of a verb
becomes almost a half-romantic thing)

To “eat” a kiss
off your mouth
what a wonderful think
to have thought of.

You walked into this world
a half-hearted girl
only because you exist
with enough space
between the ridges of your bones
For someone to make a home out of

He’s just a boy,
even if sometimes
you can’t see it
under all that sunspotted soul of his
(But, he just glows, doesn’t he?)
(He just glows)
– Have you met anyone with the sun for a soul before?

How long have you stood
under the waterfalls
of the men before you,
waiting for the mountains around you
to erode?

I don’t think they’re in the wish realm. No one ran out of the tavern screaming “the evil queen” when she walked inside wearing evil queen garb. No one recognized her. It’s a realm where they can both get a fresh start, so it can’t be the wish realm where she’s wanted for killing the king and queen and where Henry hates her. 

I feel like Regina did accept her darkness. There was a whole yin yang exchange of darkness and light between Regina’s and the queen’s hearts. 

I’m excited about the three hugs in the episode. Emma/Regina, Regina/Queen, and Queen/Henry. Swan-Mills family.

I am sad about the queen leaving Henry and that Emma feels abandoned again. Those parts really suck. 

fuckyeahjasonkimberly  asked:

ok v important fic prompt: crossover between the old jimberly and the new!

Here you go my lovely!

A/N: Mild spoilers to the movie

A whirlwind took her there. A whirlwind that was a kaleidoscope of swirling colors and blurry images that deposited her in an unceremonious heap on the thick branch of a tree where she swayed precariously as she tried to reclaim some of the balance being a gymnast bred into her.  

She made out a cliff, a quarry, and the twinkling lights of some foreign small town spread out far below her and nearly shrieked as she realized that she was one wrong foothold away from death and hanging on a tree growing on a ledge on the bona fide cliff.

Thoughts and curses and a barrage of sarcastic comments flooded her brain but died on her lips as she took in the couple in the inky darkness just a few feet below her.

“–small crap town can cause me such misery,” the woman was saying.

“So let’s go. Leave,” the man replied, and his manner and way of speaking was so familiar, it reminded her unnervingly of someone she knew very well indeed.

It was the oddest thing, but an indescribable feeling flooded through her and Kimberly Ann Hart felt an affinity, a bond, a link, with the brunette with the chin-length bob that she had never seen before in her life.

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anonymous asked:

New pics of Daryl for 7.15, he's wearing a coat with a different sleeve sewn on the right arm, (just like Tamiel.) I just find that interesting.

Interesting. Tamiel is being passed off as Boots, so she is a sideways Beth proxy. Her and Daryl’s costume similarities parallel the yin-yang Bethyl costume similarities. His sleeve is also plaid, and he wore a light-colored pattern in Alone and subsequent episodes that were Bethyl-heavy, like 6x06. @allatariel​ pointed out that the sleeve is very colorful, more so than anything he’s worn since Coda. He’s coming back from the darkness, one piece at a time, like a reverse Frankenstein.


doomed to be unfinished: movies [10/10] → memoirs of a geisha

At the temple, there is a poem called “Loss” carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read Loss, only feel it.

anonymous asked:

trans female, 24, 5'6, almost shoulder length curly light brown hair, dark blue eyes. i love nature and history/art history, anime, cartoons, and i love watching old movies on TCM. I DVR older movies and watch em a lot. i'm pretty essay going for dates, maybe a movie? out to eat? go antiquing? book store? honestly so long as your happy i'll probably be having fun.

I’d be down.

cog bosses being good partners/spouses

vp: the kind of guy who wakes up early to make you a big wholesome breakfast and then he comes in to wake you up and you can hardly see him cause its dark except for some light filtering through your curtains. but he’s got pancake batter on himself and is wearing a cute lil apron that says “kiss the cog” and he looks so adorable and you’re so happy to be spending your life with him. you enjoy breakfast together and then snuggle until you fall back asleep

cfo: if the mood is right he can get suuuuuuuper sappy… he likes to buy you all sorts of nice things, surprises you with gifts and flowers, showers you with compliments, takes you out to dinner, all that sort of sweet stuff. BUT if you return the favor? man oh man does he get embarrassed. even just a surprise kiss on the cheek (wherever that even is on a cash register) will make his cash drawer pop open and then he just gets even more flustered and he’s SUPER CUTE

cj: he’s the only cog boss with anything that even sort of resembles lips so… lots of kisses. he likes kissing you on the forehead especially. he’s not super expressive but BOY does he love you… the warm intimate feeling of holding you close makes him so indescribably happy and he doesn’t smile or say anything to you but you can hear his machinery whirring inside and he’s shaking a little bit. you tease him about it and he just goes “hmmph” and holds you tighter

ceo: he’s a jerk to pretty much everyone else in his life but he treats you like royalty. he loves bragging about you almost as much as he loves bragging about himself. he’s got your portrait in the dining hall and makes sure to point it out to each and every one of his guests, always. he likes to cuddle up with you by the fireplace and he starts going on and on about golf while he holds you and you have no idea what he’s even talking about but he’s such a sweetheart so you just listen to his voice and enjoy the snuggles

In Death

I often wonder what it would be like to be dead. I imagine it would be pleasantly quiet, like the stillness that comes with getting out of bed before the rest of the house. ​

At 5 am, when the only noise you can hear is the creaking of your own footsteps and maybe the coffee machine and the chirps of a few confused birds outside the kitchen window.

I imagine it would be dark, with maybe a few twinkling lights and the feeling of being almost asleep. No more day job or family dinners or taking the train or checking bank statements or looking for matching socks. No more coffee with two milks and changing dirty pillowcases.

Death would be quiet, like sticking your face in the running water of a shower. The water hits your face and for those few moments your brain and the outside world are completely silent. You can’t hear or think, and maybe a few tears escape you like a leaky faucet but for those moments you have a smidgen of peace, or at least what I imagine peace feels like. Then you gasp and turn your head and you realize you’re in the shower and everything you’ve ever known comes rushing back to you like vomit from bad sushi.

One time I was sitting in a doctor’s office and was asked if I had suicidal thoughts. It occurred to me then that that was a rather stupid question.

It also occurred to me then that I hated doctors.

Death would be no more doctors and no more stupid questions and no more weird stares from people that are by definition supposed to help you, but all they truly know how to do is make you want to stick out your tongue and make monkey noises because they’re staring at you like a zoo animal so you might as well act like one anyways.

Sometimes, when I’m standing in a room full of people I get this urge to start screeching like a hyena and bite at the air like a rabid dog. I always thought that would be funny.

In death I could bite at the air and be a rabid dog or even a delusional buffoon and nobody would say a word because I’d be dead. And I’d imagine people staring at me, like my boss or that lady in the Uber, and they’d look at me with gaping eyeballs and judgy eyebrows and I’d laugh because I’m dead and they still have to get up in the morning.


No way out (In Explore 03/23/2017) by Mattia Ferraboli
Via Flickr:
Vintage Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 50mm @f/1.8


It’s Mother’s Day in the UK and Ireland today. As always, I am going to be very honest and real in my article because there’s no point sugarcoating content just for the sake of a brand image. I want to share with you my life story - a part of my life story that shaped who I am and inspired me to create The Happiness Planner, a tool that helps people become more positive, grateful, mindful, and realise that they’re in charge of their attitude. 

I believe that we all experienced pain in our life - pain helped shape who we are. You cannot build strength without having to go through pain. Light cannot exist without darkness. Your pain might have led you to develop your dark traits, but your pain could also be and very much is the source of your light - your potential. As I am now approaching 30, I really want to let it all out and be raw and real with my readers/customers because it’s the only way to really be authentic with the world. I am thankful for all of the hardships I faced growing up - they shaped me to be who I am today. And I want you, too, to own up to your story and turn your pain into a powerful source of your potential. 

A lot of you probably already know that I had quite a difficult relationship with my mother growing up. We’re two very different individuals. She’s very strict, conservative, and tends to focus on what could go wrong, rather than what could go right. It’s how she was brought up and it affected me quite dramatically as a child. It’s been over 10 years now since I moved out of home. I am proud to say that this is no longer a burden in my heart - I have healed. Finally, my mother is able to loudly say to me that she is proud of me. Twenty nine years of my life as a grade-A student and a high-achiever - my heart finally feels full. Because my mother was strict, I became rebellious and refused to go on the path conservative Asian parents expect you to go on. As a result, I felt like I was constantly disappointing my mother even though I wasn’t doing anything wrong - it’s just not the path she wanted me to take. However, I was very sure of myself and I knew exactly what I wanted to do in life. I knew since little that I LOVE inspiring people. I knew since little that I LOVE beautiful stationery, art, and design. I knew since little that I am intrigued by psychology and how the human mind works. I knew since little that I was born with a gift in marketing and branding. I knew since little that I wanted to be a kickass businesswoman with her own beautiful inspirational brand that inspires people on a global scale. Sadly, my dreams weren’t fully supported. Though my father was open-minded and encouraged me to become an entrepreneur, my mother wanted me to be a doctor. As strong-headed and rebellious as I was, I went against it. My mother cried. Her smart daughter didn’t want to be a doctor. It was hard and was absolutely heartbreaking to see your mother cry. But I knew deep in my heart that I was meant for something else and that one day my mother would be proud even though she didn’t approve of anything I wanted to do at the time. 

Fast forward to today, I am very happy to say that I am glad I never gave up what I wanted to do with my life just to follow my mother’s dreams. I am even more proud to say that my mother has recently started using The Happiness Planner. Every few days, she’d send me a photo showing what she wrote in her Happiness Planner including the answer to the question, “What makes you happy?”, which she wrote “Seeing my children” with a score 10 (I know I’m guilty of this, but I’ll go home to see her soon). My mum also said that since she started using The Happiness Planner, she realised that she had never felt grateful for the little things in life and that she had always focused on the negatives. Now she is learning to focus on the positives and the things she could feel grateful for every day. Talking to her has never felt as joyous as it does now. I notice that talks of worries and stress have slowly disappeared as they have been replaced by positive and encouraging words. :)

So as it’s Mother’s Day today, I’d like to share with you what I learned growing up with a Tiger mother.

1. Put yourself in other people’s shoes.

Growing up with someone who is very different from you teaches you a lot. Because that person is my mother, I had no choice but to learn to deal with the clashes and the differences. This is how my interest in psychology got started. 

In order to deal with the emotional turmoil that I had, I had to learn to understand my mother. Why does she think the way she does? Why is she the way she is? Why can’t she understand my point of view?  This childhood experience taught me to look deep into human’s complexity. My upbringing influenced who I am. My mother’s upbringing also influenced who she is. What I learned from parents, schools, and the environment I grew up in shaped me to be the person I am today. It’s the same for everyone and for my mother.

When solving disagreements, arguments, and misunderstandings, put yourself in the other person’s shoes. When you don’t understand why someone is the way he/she is, look into their childhood and past experiences. With any conflicts in life, big or small, internal or external, mental, emotional, or physical, understanding is key to having a peace of mind. Only when you learn about someone’s past, you’d understand the correlation that leads them to be the way they are today. When you learn to understand instead of trying to force others to accept your beliefs and your way of thinking, you will be able to find inner peace from within and will be able to deal with anything life throws at you.

2. Attitude is everything.

You are in control of your attitude. And that’s the only thing that affects how you feel, act, and react to situations and things that happen around you. Learning to understand that attitude is everything is crucial. Life depends on the lens you look through and your attitude is the lens. Take control of the situation by learning to adapt your attitude to situations. The earlier you learn to control and adjust your attitude, the more you do it, and the easier it becomes. The ability to adapt your attitude is the secret to achieving anything in life - from success to happiness and beyond.

3. Be the kind of friend to others how you want others to be to you.

One thing I absolutely admire about my mum is her kindness. My mum loves to help people. She has a kind heart and gets a sense of meaning from helping others. One thing she said to me that I still reflect upon today is that if I want a good friend, I have to be a good friend. However I want my friend to be, I have to be the same. If I want to have a supportive friend, I have to be supportive. If I want a friend who listens, I have to be a good listener too. You see? Your friends are a reflection of who you are. So if you look around and find yourself surrounded by a bunch of idi*ts, then it’s time you take a look in the mirror and reflect on the things beneath the image you see. 

4. Develop both sides of the brain and learn as much as you can when little.

Something I am absolutely grateful for for having a Tiger mother is that I got to learn SO MUCH as a child. Besides math, I got to take piano lessons, guitar lessons, drum lessons, art, language, and dance classes. My weekends were never free. I loved learning so much and my Tiger mother was supportive with everything as long as I followed through with it. Both of my parents majored in science. So they knew the importance of learning in children and brain development. My mum wanted me to develop both sides of my brain, so I got to learn advanced math and language as well as art and music. In hindsight, if my mum hadn’t encouraged me to take so many extra lessons when I was little, I don’t know if I would have had the initiative and the desire to pursue them and the willpower to master them now. Learning new skills is much easier when you’re a kid. Though now I do want to learn French, Spanish, German, and Saxophone, the time it takes to learn and to master something is the major factor that makes me keep pushing them off. 

5. Confidence is compounding. Fearlessness is a mindset one can master.

My mother really encouraged me to participate in all sorts of competitions — be it in academic, music, and art. Luckily I really enjoyed them, so that worked in my favour. However I’ve realised as I grow up that participating in all sorts of competitions all my life has made me become fearless. All the little wins I gained help me build confidence in my own ability - little by little. I never thought this would affect me as much into adulthood, but it does. I am fearless and confident in my own ability today because of the things I learned and did whilst growing up. 

If you’re looking to build your confidence, realise that it’s compounding. The sooner you gain it, the more you gain it, and you gain more of it each time you gain it. Fearlessness is a mindset. Just like changing a habit - you can train your mind to become fearless so that you feel confident in your own ability no matter how hard or small of a challenge you have to face.

6. Embrace your inner talents. Never lose touch with your childhood passions.

I believe in living with passion. As a child, I had several hobbies I was passionate about and I  feel very lucky to have been able to explore all the things I wanted to explore as a child.Looking back now, it all makes sense. Everything I was passionate about as a child is everything I am passionate about today. The different dots I plotted as a child - I can now draw a line that connects them.

When looking at who you are and what you enjoy doing today, it’s no doubt that it’s related to what you naturally loved doing as a child. Everything I used to love doing as a child has come together and become everything that I do today for a living. You never leave who you truly are. And being able to engage in and embrace your innate talents gives you happiness and satisfaction in life. If you have been following someone else’s dreams or someone else’s advice on what your dreams should be, instead of your own, take this as a chance to really listen to your own heart. Can you crawl back to embrace your inner child and turn your childhood passion into a hobby again with the skills and expertise you have acquired over the year?

As it is Mother’s Day today, I hope you’re spending time with her. If you had a painful relationship with your mother growing up, do you think it’s time for a reconciliation? Sometimes the pain that we buried; the pain that is deeply rooted in our heart never really goes away until we dig it up and look at it with a wiser mind filled with compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. After all, every parent does the best they could at the time to show love to their children. Whether what they did was good enough or not depended on their life circumstances and who they were/are. People are different, and sometimes, they also have different love languages. Understanding is the key here - the key that will set your soul free. And always remember, focus on the positives.